Center for the Creative Arts students speak with the fifth-grade composers of their dance music in real time. (Photo: Staff)

Two classes from different parts of Chattanooga recently worked together to produce a performing arts piece using new high-speed video streaming technology.

The classes used new low-latency technology that The Enterprise Center provided to facilitate the collaboration. The technology allows data to be sent and received with very little time delay—almost instantaneously.

In more common forms of video streaming such as Skype or FaceTime, users experience some level of delay between the two outputs, which leads to an unsynced experience on both ends. This kind of video streaming makes trying to produce synced music and dance difficult.

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With low-latency technology, Jessica Laliberte Bowman’s dance class from the Center for Creative Arts and Claire Stockman’s fifth-grade class from Red Bank Elementary worked together to create art.

Stockman’s class composed the music, and Bowman’s class created the choreography.

The production was made over the course of a few months.

The two classes worked together during four separate sessions.

During this time, the kids provided critiques to each other and adapted their work to fit what the other group was doing.

“Your performing was 100 times better,” said one fifth-grader to the class after a rendition of the performance. “You really worked together. It was really nice.”

The final session happened Dec. 13. During this time, the dancers and musicians were told to look at how the performances changed based on cues the performers were picking up.

The students talked about these changes after their final performance.

“You really, really had to pay attention to [the music] in case something changed,” one dancer said.

The Enterprise Center Digital Equity Officer Geoff Millener said he hopes that the technology can help shrink the size of the city and be used more in the future as a collaborative learning tool instead of something only for more advanced groups.

“[We wondered] what happens when you take the things that are happening at the highest end of tech and turn it over for the people who can make a difference and see what they do with it,” Millener said. “This wasn’t meant as a onetime experience. We wanted to see what if this is what a classroom felt like.”

Watch the final product below:

Alina Hunter-Grah is a contributing writer. She currently attends UTC, where she was previously the news editor of the student newspaper, The University Echo. Alina also worked at CNN during the summer of 2017 and is the former Chattanooga correspondent for 2nd & Church, a literary magazine based out of Nashville. You can reach Alina at [email protected] or on Twitter @alinahuntergrah.

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